Monthly Archives: November 2016

Words

WORDS

Still the words go on writing themselves
Humans use them to the nth degree

Still the sentences form and communicate
But what they say is –
what they see

‘always say’ is what they say…

What is to be said?
What’s it gonna be?

The low income person speaks of resentment
he speaks resentfully

Because of making do

The rich man resents –
speaking words resentfully –
wanting more wealth still

The star stud – exclaims his egocentric world
for all to hear
Using words – his ideas do appear

The sportsman’s words ‘we played well’
‘…but we were weak in the second half’
his limited vocabulary still gives opinion
as to why it was a draw…

The cappuccino friend pours out his woe
to his fellow cappuccino

over coffee
words are spilled

The prattling words on the street
echo up the walls to keep the man from sleep

And the obsessed with hurt
repeat themselves
over and over
looking for the relief that words ‘got out’ might give

And the words accumulate ad infinitum
in the circumstances of life

the tower of babel has been built
despite the scattering of the sheep

Sheep without a shepherd
word after word
they bleat

And it’s no surprise dictionaries are added to
And it’s no surprise – added to – is added to
And it’s no surprise we are all in the word business

To find a way to sort things out

But words that are cheap
fall away
Words follow
after each day

Words of incompleteness
for it never will be unitedly said

That there is only one Word
Who speaks what is prayed

And the rest?

The foolishness of fools
do darken counsel
with words
of no understanding.

The zest for words goes on
the lyrics in every song

We can’t get enough of words
human language
newspaper words
splurge after splurge

of ten to twelve to fourteen point
I cohabited with for years

the – printed – spoken – exchanged –
words
of a dying world,

words of a dying race

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The Inner Man

THE INNER MAN

Put’n on his blue coat
Buttonin’ up his blue shirt
– of another shade

Put’n on and
tak’n off
his blue tie

Contrast restored
with Purple

Brushes his beard
up down –
side to side

That’s it
in place

Leaves his place
stops on the seat

doesn’t start the car
forgot somethin’?

Yep –
forgot to dress the inner man

The Black Rider

Poem circa 1970
THE BLACK RIDER
(or Dick Turpin wore a mask…)

The Black Rider rides,
The Moonlight invites him to be bright!
The Black Rider hides

The Pine valued for its wood invites him to climb!
The Coach rumbles by, as always on time
The Plan you will note – is to jump at the throat
Of the Coachman

The opportunity right he jumps through the night…

But alas what despair the coach isn’t there!
Bad timing causing injury and fright…

Seed for the ground-Words for the heart

SEED FOR THE GROUND
WORDS FOR THE HEART
(Mark 4, Luke 8. Matthew 13)

Those only partially acquainted with the Bible will perhaps nevertheless remember the Parable of the Sower.

The thing that has always struck me about this parable that communicates to us in narrative form, using the metaphor of the earth into which the sower sows his seed, is an ingredient that I look for in all those I encounter in the journey of life.

That ingredient is sincerity. (I mention this in my ABOUT)

DEFINITION:
sincerity |sɪnˈsɛrəti|
noun [ mass noun ]
the absence of pretence, deceit, or hypocrisy: the sincerity of his beliefs is unquestionable.

But nowhere in this authoritative dictionary definition do we read that the sincere person is always right.

Sincerely wrong is more than a possibility, in fact considering our track record – we have all been sincerely wrong on innumerable occasions, but with our sincerity intact.(?)

When people share their honest point of view, they usually engage in what is sometimes referred to as ‘debate’.

DEFINITION:
debate |dɪˈbeɪt|
noun
* a formal discussion on a particular matter in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward…
* an argument about a particular subject…
* argue about (a subject), especially in a formal manner: MPs debated the issue in the Commons: members of the society debated for five nights.
* consider a possible course of action in one’s mind before reaching a decision: he debated whether he should leave the matter alone or speak to her.

The whole idea of debate, can have very negative connotations. The pointing of the finger and the speaking vanity (malicious talk) – as the scripture puts it. (Isaiah 58/9)

Discussion is a friendlier word. As our debating can include biting and devouring one another. (Galatians 5/15)

On another page-post I refer to the ‘sincerity’ factor (see The Real McCoy).

But sincerely wrong, is what I consider to be the mistake of many, when they do not accept Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world.

Now those who are already acquainted with this blog, would expect me to make this statement anyway.

And hopefully there is already enough in the Pages ‘section’ of the blog to prompt you to investigate Christian teaching.

But it’s worth noting that I (in one sense) was where you are at.

If you are yet undecided about the Gospel you are where I once was. I was a non-Christian, now I stand converted.

If someone pontificates about how wonderful it is to go visit the Bahamas, because they have been there and experienced it, – because I have not, – they quite simply – have a great advantage over me.

Concerning the Bahamas, I have no problem admitting they have this advantage, indeed it goes without saying. And as a result, I do not immediately think of them as superior to me, or even knowing better in a self-righteous manner.

I have never been there. So it should be expected of me – to listen and consider* what they say especially if I was planning to go there for a visit.

I have no barriers to get past in accepting their views as being more worthwhile than my own.

Because they have experienced the Bahamas.

That’s all anyone can ask for (listen and consider)* from their ‘audience’ when they preach the gospel.

Unfortunately we don’t always get it. Clearly illustrated by the ‘first’ Christian Martyr Stephen.

We read of him in (Acts Chapter 6 and 7.)

See how he was responded to. Consider if the treatment he received was just in any way (?).

Consider (I give you the benefit of the doubt) how you would not respond in such a mindless manner, namely stoning the man to death.

But please consider too, if the end result – would not be the same, if his audience was listening to me? i.e. Rejection of the Gospel message he preached.

The challenge then for all believers in Christ, is to know how to share the message without entering into debate and arguments that profit nothing.

Some Christians might prefer the arguments, rather than be ignored.(?)

But God only needs a sincere listener and He will reveal Himself to them.

He doesn’t dupe or deceive, He simply presents Himself as the Saviour of the world.

God the Holy Spirit draws near to the enquiring heart and is willing to open our understanding.

He doesn’t need to ‘win the argument’ because this presupposes that you or I would somehow have an opinion superior or challenging to His.

Or that, because we are debating – somehow we could teach God a thing or two, if only He would listen.

Just as Jesus spoke what He heard from God the Father, So Christians speak what they hear from Jesus. So that you in turn might hear what God says as it is passed on to you.

That calls for a sincere unpretentious listening approach to the gospel message, when someone shares it with you.

Jesus speaking of his mission and of His Father says this:

John 8/26.
I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.

There is an invitation to accept Christ as Saviour that is responded to and activated by a sincere prayer.

But it entails making an extremely earnest and important decision that entails a turning away from sin, and a turning of the life over to Jesus Christ.

Not to be entered into lightly.
It would be remiss not to offer help to the sincere seeker of this relationship. Please feel free to email me at this address:

ken.riddles@btinternet.com

Peace

PEACE
(Press your way through)

If you could have nothing else – would being at peace in and with yourself be enough?

A deep abiding peace.

RIP – rest in peace – but not beneath the earth – for when that comes – there you are – no more.

Peace. What is that to you?

Here’s what it is to me –
Calm mind, feeling of satisfaction. Contentment. Sense of forgiveness. At rest with yourself and your maker. Taking God at His word – relying on His promise of the gift of Eternal Life through heart acceptance of His Only Begotten Son.

A peace that passes understanding. Given to you not as the world gives. Walking with God, not letting your heart be troubled.

Carrying a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light.

Learning from the Master (The Lord Jesus Christ).

All of this is part of the abundant life that Jesus offers. Press your way through the crowd and touch Him, by faith.
………………………………………..
Matthew 9:20-22
20 And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. 21 For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” 22 But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.

Criminal’s Conversion

CRIMINAL’S CONVERSION
(Poetic Fiction for Truth)

“I never did listen to what he had to say
I always brushed him aside – out of the way”
Said the criminal about the policeman,
“Closed my ears inaugurating some kind of a ban”.

After all, we were worlds apart
I didn’t know the rules for a start
He was so ‘keep-keep’ the law
I was so ‘sweep-sweep’ – it away –

And then ’cause I’d broken all the rules
They tried to reform me – by using various tools,
(I, having ended up in here, out of harm’s way)
– But their ‘tools’ never included the need to pray

I came into brokenness and
an inner reaching out
I rose up and embraced every destroyer of doubt
I was converted in the deep recesses
of my being
Chiefly the Bible became my new way of seeing

And now I can’t understand how dumb I could be.

Walking in new life – the truth making me free
I see clearly in an enlightened way

‘Seek and you will find’ is all I can say.

The Speed Merchant

THE SPEED MERCHANT

‘…If he could’ – he most surely would
If you pay him the money

He’ll cut down your trees
as sure and as fast as can be

He’s the nature man, the gardening man
The tree-felling guy
as sure as – the implements in his hand

Steely grasp of his command
Buzzing saw – clippers – and spade
Trowels galore – sacks on the floor

Overalls – (stained green against their blue)
In and out of hedges and prickles
And thorns and bushes and trickles of goo

Head start in the morning – early lunch –
and then he’s through

He did it in record time –
each time
a new goal he sets
and sweats – and jets
around the garden like an aeroplane

He’s mindful of insects and possible rodents
As he stops to examine
and has the time to do…

All of the things associated with grass and tree

Down it comes branch by branch
and trunk and all

The birds chirping their dismay
Chirping a lament at habitat gone

He’s no sooner said than done
He has done it all before

He will ask and explore
the possibility of – you wanting more

‘What about that unsightly ivy?’

‘Get rid of it – is surely what
you want…?
Impatient sales talk –
breaking into a rant

When you decline
out of breath he

gasps –

‘I’m on my way…’

Another garden
to tackle – attack and dismay

Understanding the communication

As a follow up to my last post I want to more fully develop the dilemma I was referring to:

UNDERSTANDING THE COMMUNICATION.

Jesus the sinless Son of God encountered continuously human beings unable to understand Him.
We might ask: Is it any different today?

How is it you do not understand? He said to His disciples. (Matthew 16:10-12).
On another occasion we read in (Luke 18 verse 34): But they understood none of these things…

We are also told that Joseph and Mary …did not understand the statement which He (Jesus) spoke to them. (Luke 2:49-51)

Again at another time we read: They did not understand that He spoke to them of The Father.
It was the Jews that Jesus was addressing here, and we discover that they too didn’t understand. (John 8:26-28).

His disciples again didn’t get what The Lord was saying when He spoke of His betrayal: But they did not understand this saying and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it… (Luke 9:44-4).

The Pharisees listening to what Jesus said about a shepherd and sheep, were unable to get the meaning of the illustration: Jesus used this illustration but they did not understand the things He spoke to them (John 10:5-7).

Jesus plainly told His disciples on one occasion that the actions He had just taken would not be understood by them. But this time He added something that would bring a rest and an assurance, if they would take it on board. He added the words …but you will know after this…

In other words: You will not get it now, but there is coming a time when you will.

There will for example, come a time when we will fully understanding the things to do with the prophesies of the end times. (John 13:7).

On many occasions Jesus remonstrated with His hearers: with words similar to: Perceive you not yet…? How is it that you do not understand…?

He referred to those who shall hear and shall not understand He spoke of those who would hear not, nor understand…

And then as we move further into the New Testament and listen to God speaking in and through the Apostle Paul in the epistle to the Romans, we learn not just the disciples, not just the Jews, not just the Pharisees but ‘There is none that understands…’ (Romans 3:11).

Why is any Christian surprised today by the inability of non-Christians to appreciate what they have been saying about The Messiah, The Saviour of the world, The King of Kings and Lords of Lords?

History is repeating itself and they too don’t understand.

Clearly this understanding is something beyond the power of intellect alone, as no doubt there must have existed amongst the many people that Jesus was addressing, someone of an immense intellect – yet unable to understand.

But we are getting closer to somehow realising that spiritual matters require an extra dimension, if they are to be understood, when God tells us he has ‘chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise…’ (I Corinthians 1:27).

He tells us that spiritual realities are ‘…hidden…from the wise and prudent and…revealed to babes…(Matthew 11:24-26)

To understand Spiritual realities we need God’s help big time. – But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (I Corinthians 2/14)

Why should we be surprised that we too, are often unable to understand what God is saying to us today?

We are prone to leaning on our own understanding. Greater than us have also done so. They too have remained ignorant as to what God was saying.

We read in (Hebrews 3:v15): ‘Today if you will hear His voice do not harden your heart’.

If you will hear His voice? We used to say ‘If’… a small word with a big meaning.

If…signifies clearly a certain type of person, – a person who wants to hear.

Do you, do I, want to hear? Well, If… you will hear His voice, here is what to do: …harden not your heart.

That’s a starting point isn’t it?

Something to do in our pursuit of hearing God’s voice.

If we at least have a notion that God is trying to get us to acknowledge that His ‘Still small voice’ is speaking to us, in order to give us understanding – then ‘Harden not your heart’.

What are we to do when God is telling us something we have not yet heard or perceived?

Do not harden your hearts…

Don’t write it off, or close yourself to it, because you don’t understand or perceive He is speaking to you.

At least suspect that He is speaking!

Hardening the heart is what the children of Israel did for forty years. It involves ignoring God or resisting His voice. They wandered aimlessly in unbelief. They would not believe God, nor believe in His goodness. Unbelief is a refusal to accept the voice of God speaking into the spirit of your mind.

“Well He might be speaking to me, but I don’t understand a word of it, so I will not persevere”.

This is hardening the heart.

There is the famous parable of the sower. The sower went out and liberally scattered his seed, it fell on all kinds of different ground.

The ground represented the minds of men and women. The seed was God’s spoken words.

It is not difficult to liken the hard ground to the hardened intellect of unbelieving man.

No penetration. No fruit-bearing. No result.

But today…if…

The good ground in the parable, had one ingredient that made things work. Scripture tells us that the good ground represented those who out of an HONEST heart received the word. (Luke 8:15).

They bore fruit, the word penetrated their open minds, and like Peter they were able to say:

‘You are THE CHRIST the Son of The Living God’

Faith entered their hearts by the supernatural penetration of God’s Word.

‘Faith comes…’ we are told in (Romans 10 v17):

So if it comes, it may not be here yet!

It does arrive at your hearing ears. But what are your ears to hear? ‘…and hearing by the word of God.’

God comes to your ears (through His Word) to enter the spirit of your mind, and create faith that says:

‘I believe what you are saying, and now I understand it’

Thats why we read in (Hebrews 11 v 3): ‘By faith we understand…’
We get increased faith by hearing the word of God, if we harden not our hearts, in turning away from the voice of His word.

But mankind has a hearing problem. Mankind has a problem understanding and perceiving spiritual realities. You may not have understood yet, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

How then will you come to that place of perceiving it? We perceive by faith. Faith that comes by hearing the word of God.

Peter the fisherman did perceive and understand that Jesus was the Christ. But Jesus was able to tell him, and us, the key to spiritual perception and understanding.

It is revealed in the words that Jesus addressed Peter with when Peter confessed: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”(Matthew 16:16).

Jesus responded with ‘…flesh and blood has not revealed this unto you, but My Father who is in heaven’ v.17

Peter had a Spiritual Revelation. The eyes of his understanding were enlightened. God himself, the God many don’t understand or believe in, touched Peter in the spirit of his mind and convinced him that Jesus, a carpenter from Nazareth, was without a shadow of doubt the incarnate son of The Living God.

Peter had the same revelation that John the Baptist had. The same Almighty Father God enlightened the mind of John. Telling him to look for the one upon whom the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity-Godhead would descend.

The time came and as Jesus rose from the water, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. John was enabled to see this supernaturally.

He was able to see what others could not have taught him, and what others in fact did not immediately understand.

This same Jesus of Nazareth that John saw with enlightened eyes, he would also call: ‘The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’. (John 1:29).

On another occasion after Jesus had gone back to be with the heavenly father, Philip came near to an Ethiopian gentleman who was reading the Bible – and asked him the most important question:

(Acts 8/30): So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

My question to you is ‘Do you understand…?’ Because if you do – your life is about to be transformed…!

email: ken.riddles@btinternet.com

Mankind’s communication dilemma

MANKIND’S
COMMUNICATION DILEMMA

You don’t understand.
You don’t understand a thing.
I’ve told you and you still don’t get it.

You look at me with that blank look of incredulity.
But I’m telling you – you just don’t get it.

What shall we do with this state of being?
Does it – can it – exist?

Could you justifiably be on the receiving end of such an accusation?
Is there something you can’t perceive?

Even when you hear it like it is. You interpret it to mean something else.

You even like what is said – because it goes through the sieve of your own mind – and comes out the other side meaning what you want it to mean.

But not what it really means.

It sounds good to you – but you just do-not-get-it!

You don’t really get it. And you might never get it?

Even though you are oblivious to the fact that you don’t get it – by virtue of your misinterpretation, is there any chance of the penny dropping and change coming into your life, through finding out what it really means?

If such a scenario exists, and you are being told that it does – where do you go from here, when you are convinced that you do get it – when actually you don’t?

Where do you go from here?

(If someone else had written this post – and I was reading it – I would consider that the next question would be:- “What is it I am not getting?”)